My husband and I went to dinner at our very close friends Marlisa and Robert’s house, so I decided to get creative with my salad ingredients since I know they are foodies too and would appreciate it. I made a pumpkin puree vinaigrette to go with it.
- 1 package of pre-cut butternut squash from Trader’s Joes
- 1 to 1.5 cups pecans, caramelized
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup pomegranate
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 pears sliced thinly
- 1/2 to 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 to 2 packages spinach or mixed greens (I used spinach)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup champagne or apple cider vinegar
- 2 table spoons maple syrup
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium size bowl mix all the vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the salad.
- Roast the butternut squash in the over at 400 for approximately 30 to 45 minutes with a bit of olive oil. Stir occasionally.
- When the butternut squash is done, place on a plate with a paper towel underneath to get rid of as much oil and moisture as you can and set aside.
- Carmelize the pecans by putting about 1 tablespoon of butter with brown sugar at medium heat and stir constantly. I always eye ball how much sugar to put in. Be careful not to burn. Take off heat and place on parchment or wax paper to let cool down. Once cool, you can separate any pecan pieces that might have stuck together.
- Mix the lettuce with all the other ingredients and then add the vinaigrette.
Other items that would probably taste awesome in this salad would be:
- Pumpkin seeds instead of pecans
- Feta cheese instead of blue cheese
- Real bacon bits
- Dried cranberries
- Fresh blueberries